It\‘s License Time Again

By Lorraine Thies
It’s once again time for member clubs to renew their license agreement to issue USGA Handicap Indexes. Without a license, clubs cannot issue an official USGA Handicap nor can they use the USGA Course or Slope ratings to calculate a number that they call a handicap.
There are two ways for clubs to obtain a license to issue USGA Handicaps; one is for a club to apply (individually) for a license directly to the USGA. The other is for the club to join an authorized golf association.
Lucky you…if you’ve received this magazine in the mail, it means that you are a member of a club that has chosen the second option.
Why is that a good thing?
As a member, we cover your back. We guide your club through the necessary steps to be in compliance with the rules of the USGA Handicap System. You can be assured that all of our member clubs are aware of the system requirements and act appropriately in order to make the game fair and equitable not only when playing with fellow club members, but also when playing with others outside your club.
As a member, we’re your eyes and ears. You’re entitled to assistance from us in the management of your club and in making sure that you and other clubs in the state utilize the tools that we’ve provided. Having a problem with someone in your club who is winning all your events? We’ll help you develop policies that can manage that individual. Having trouble getting members to post scores? We have tools to reel them in and make them accountable. Having trouble with members not posting scores when traveling or taking a summer hiatus in a cooler climate? We have a way to make it easy for them to post.
What does it take to maintain a license with the AGA/USGA? There is a compliance checklist made up of 17 standards that clubs must agree to follow. A few key items include:

Have a signed license agreement in place with a local authorized golf association or the USGA prior to issuing a USGA Handicap Index to its members.

Have a representative of the club certified in the USGA Handicap System.

Have a Handicap Committee madeup of mostly members and chaired by a member.

Follow the revision schedule of the authorized golf association in that region.

Require the posting of all scores both home and away.

Facilitate peer review of scoring records.

Reduce or increase the Handicap Index of any player whose handicap does not reflect the player’s potential ability.

Utilize equitable stroke control to adjust scores before posting.

Use the course and slope ratings issued by the authorized golf association in your area.

(A complete list of the compliance items can be found in the USGA Handicap System Manual on pg 54.)
The USGA Handicap System is made up of is a series of checks and balances. It’s certainly not a perfect system, but we’ve found that, for the most part, people who post scores following the prescribed rules have a handicap that makes them competitive. Rest assured your golf association is here to make sure that’s the case. If you’re experiencing problems with members and need our assistance, or are just looking for more information about the management tools we provide, contact our Director of Handicapping, Diane Coolidge at 602-944-3035, 800-458-8484 or [email protected]